This is from one of our readers, Amy:
When my neighbor and friend tossed around the idea of having a block party just for fun, I initially balked. But as I never say no to a party, I agreed to give her a hand. After all, she had already paid for and obtained the necessary permit from the city. But the date was set for a mere month away. Was there time enough to pull this off?
As things were already set in motion, another neighbor friend got to work on a “Save The Date”, with a list of potential activities, etc., which she promptly hand-delivered with kids in tow. (Thankfully this neighbor friend is a graphic designer who also made a “Reminder” flyer the week of the block party!) Then came the slew of phone calls to the police and fire departments, local businesses, entertainers, and non-profit organizations. With the requests and little time we had, what surprised us most was the overwhelmingly positive response we received from nearly all, that YES, they would support us. Not to mention what both they and our neighborhood contributed in time, money, and expertise. (Some groups contacted declined to support us either because there was not enough notice, we were not affiliated with a non-profit, or simply because “it wasn’t something they did.” And that was okay too.)
And it happened. A week ago, on Saturday, it happened and then some!! Through both rain and shine, all had a good time. With real live policemen, a police horse and police dog, real live firemen and a fire truck to explore, a kids road race, face painting, a mass tie-dying activity, ice cream sundae making, a children’s musician, chair massages, soil testing, grilling in the middle of the street, drawings for floral arrangements and children’s CD’s, and other fun-filled activities, who couldn’t have fun??? We spent time with old friends and made some new ones. Friends of friends came as did a few relatives. Yet, without the collective efforts of our neighborhood and the community at large, this day would not have been possible. We may even do it again next year. If we made all this happen over the course of a month, just think what we can do with a whole year of planning!
The wonderful people, organizations, businesses, and non-profits that so graciously supported us:
- Donations of time/services: Albany Police Department, www.albanyny.org, Albany Fire Department, www.albanyny.org, Spear Design, www.spear-design.com , Cornell Cooperative Extension of Albany County, www.ccealbany.com, Albany Massage Therapy Associates, www.albanymassage.com
- Donations of food: Uncommon Grounds, www.uncommongrounds.com, Honest Weight Food Coop, www.hwfc.com, DC’s Pizza, www.dcspizza.com, and mini-cupcakes from Sweet Sisters in Guilderland
- Donations of goods: Price Chopper, www.pricechopper.com, Splendid Stems Floral Designs, www.splendidstems.com , Albany Artroom, www.albanyartoom.com, Andy the Music Man, www.andysings.com, Fingerprint America, Inc., www.fingerprintamerica.com
- Non-Profit Collections: Food Pantries for the Capital Region, www.foodpantries.net, Bright Red Bookshelf Community Literacy Program, www.centersquare.org